Posts filed under ‘Recycling’

Combating textile waste

clothingwasteOne of the biggest misconceptions that consumers have is that we should only donate clothes that are gently used. Ninety per cent of all people in Ontario donate at least some of their clothes, but whenever we have a pile of unwanted clothing we sort it based on what we imagine to be valuable and donate only the “good” stuff. The rest goes into the waste bin. Fifteen per cent of all unwanted garments are collected while the vast majority, 85 per cent, ends up in our landfills, taking up valuable space, releasing methane and toxic leachate and contributing to climate change.

While every municipality with populations over 5,000 must operate a blue box recycling program, textiles are on the supplementary list. Yet used clothes are often more valuable than many of the other item categories collected by municipalities. So why are textiles forgotten on our municipal waste diversion list? The good news is that all textiles can be reused or recycled in some way, with pioneering R&D efforts underway to ensure this happens.

Read Combating textile waste by Sabine Weber at Corporate Knights.


May 31, 2017 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

Swap Before You Shop

Much of the advice out there for reducing your fashion footprint involves buying more sustainably made (and often expensive) clothes. But there are a number of ways – many of which we explore in our new Fashion issue – you can lower your impact that save money, both in the short- and long-term.

One way is to hold a clothing swap, which is exactly what it sounds like: a group of people get together and trade clothes with one another. Swapping is an extra-familial version of hand-me-downs, and something friends – particularly those who can’t afford to buy new clothes all the time – have been doing intuitively for years. But more formally organized swaps of all sizes – including city-wide events – have been gaining recent popularity. My tips here are for smaller-scale events.

Read Swap Before You Shop by Lauren MacDonald at the Alternatives Journal.

September 12, 2016 at 10:09 am Leave a comment

Is Recycling Worth It?

plasticRecycling the materials you use can save a lot of resources, but placing more emphasis on reducing and reusing consumed items will help pare down our waste streams even more effectively.

To cut back on most materials, adopt a BYOC mentality: Bring Your Own Containers, such as cloth sacks or glass jars, to grocery stores for transporting produce, bulk foods, and meats and cheeses from the deli counter. Take containers to restaurants for carting home leftovers. Purchase reusable drink canisters. Try your hand at making your own condiments, body care concoctions and cleaning products. Read on to find extra reduction tips for when you can’t cut consumption.

When you do recycle, keep in mind that some substances are more worthwhile to recycle than others, depending on the energy required to extract the raw material, and the environmental footprint the substance leaves behind. Following is a list of materials, information about the worth of recycling each one, and tips for how to follow the Three R’s in the right order: reduce, reuse, and, finally, recycle

Read Is Recycling Worth It? by Joanna Poncavage at Mother Earth News.

July 25, 2016 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

New plastic recycling firm opens in Cornwall, employing 40

ewasteA plastic recycling firm has opened a new facility in Cornwall, employing about 40 people.

FCM Recycling Inc., one of Canada’s leading provider of electronic waste recycling services, announced this week work it is in full production on Loyalist Street in the Seaway City.

“This plant will further our goal to close the loop in electronic recycling” said Andrew Rubin, FCM president. “It represents a culmination of three years of R&D and a significant investment by FCM in plant, equipment and development costs.”

Read New plastic recycling firm opens in Cornwall, employing 40 at The Seaway News.

May 16, 2016 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Textiles are the next frontier in recycling for cities looking to cut waste

usedWe recycle a lot in my community. I sort metal, glass, plastic, paper and cardboard for pickup. At my house, we compost tea bags and rinse out milk bags. I take batteries and electronics to drop-off points, along with cans of paint. And that isn’t the end of it.

But my sock? Could that be recycled?

Research led me almost immediately to Claudia Marsales at the City of Markham, a senior waste manger so committed to recycling she has been dubbed “the Queen of the Heap.”

“For 30 years, we have been recycling newspapers,” she fumed. “Textiles has just been off everybody’s radar.”A recent study in Ontario concluded 85 per cent of discarded textiles end up in a landfill site, meaning just 15 per cent are recycled or reused.

Read Textiles are the next frontier in recycling for cities looking to cut waste by Havard Gould at CBC News.




May 9, 2016 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

Earth Care Thunder Bay

EarthCare Thunder Bay is a partnership between the City of Thunder Bay and the community to work together on issues of community sustainability, climate adaptation, and greenhouse gas reduction. Our mission is to lead the community in securing the environmental health of our region, and thereby improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of future generations.

The backbone of EarthCare Thunder Bay is its 11 Working Groups (WGs) comprised of people from across the community:  citizens, stakeholders, and City employees. The WGs work in collaboration with each other, the City of Thunder Bay and EarthCare Community Partners to implement the Sustainability Plan. Each WG seeks to achieve its own overarching goal, objectives and recommended actions in the Plan.

Find out what project the Working Groups are taking on in 2014 – 2015 in this 8 minute video!

February 8, 2016 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Canadians piling up more garbage than ever before as disposables rule

We like to think we’re behaving like model citizens, hauling our recycling to the curb and composting our banana peels. But the sad truth is, Canadians are piling up more household garbage than ever before. It appears that even in an era of environmental awareness, we just can’t quit our love affair with convenient, disposable products.

Unfortunately, all that convenience is costing us both environmentally and financially.

According to Statistics Canada’s latest data, the total amount of trash that Canadian households tossed increased by almost seven per cent since 2004 to 9.6 million tonnes in 2012. Although the population rose at a slightly faster rate over that period, the growing trash output is still startling considering the significant ramping up of the country’s many recycling and composting programs over those years.

Read the full article HERE on CBC News.

September 30, 2015 at 10:12 am Leave a comment

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